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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy DVD review


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56 replies to this topic

#1 of 57 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted September 03 2005 - 04:45 AM

I got my R2 copy in the mail this morning. I'll be brief, because: (1) the R1 may be different and (2) I understand that the big bonus extra of the 'Don't Crash' making-of documentary is unique to the R2 version (a pity, because it's really good).

Okay, picture quality is acceptable (but there again, the original film wasn't a demonstration piece) and the sound is appropriately beefy in the right places (helped in no end by the DTS optional soundtrack). Extras (other than the Don't Crash doc) are okay, but not particularly special: a couple of genuinely deleted scenes, a missing Guide entry, a couple of spoof deleted scenes, a Marvin hangman game, a very brief making of set of interviews (the usual stuff) and a director's commentary (listened to some of it - seems rather more informative than the usual run of these things).

The big revelation is the film itself, which is much much better on second viewing. The story was one that was never going to lend itself comfortably to the time limits of a movie, but lounging back in a comfortable sofa without the great movie theatre experience of the hard of thinking laughing at jokes half a minute behind everyone else and blanking out the dialogue, it was pretty good second time around. Little details and background action become more noticeable, and it's a rather more enjoyable movie when you're not simply trying to follow the plot.

Unless the R1 version is a total lemon (which I doubt) then I'd recommend this disc, but provided you've got the equipment to play it and you're not going to have a fit of the vapours over PAL speedup, then pick up the R2 version for the extra documentary.

#2 of 57 OFFLINE   Mike Wadkins

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Posted September 03 2005 - 05:46 AM

we got the UMD in at work the picture is a real 10/10 and it has quite a few extras as well.

just incase anyone still cares about umd

#3 of 57 OFFLINE   RogerH

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Posted September 03 2005 - 06:05 AM

I'll be getting this as I missed it when it was in theatres.

#4 of 57 OFFLINE   Jason Hughes

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Posted September 03 2005 - 11:09 AM

Just finished reading the book for the first time in 10 years or so. I was surprised by how similar AND different the book and the movie are.

It's been even longer since I read Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Did any of that make it into the movie?

A DVD I will most definetly pick up. I have a feeling I will enjoy it much more the second time through.
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#5 of 57 OFFLINE   Michael Harris

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Posted September 03 2005 - 11:35 AM

Quote:
Did any of that make it into the movie?


No, it didn't.

#6 of 57 OFFLINE   RogerH

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Posted September 03 2005 - 11:46 AM

DVDfile has a review of it now.

#7 of 57 OFFLINE   Stephen Orr

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Posted September 03 2005 - 12:14 PM

They end the movie with the cast heading to the Restaurant....

#8 of 57 OFFLINE   Jason Hughes

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Posted September 03 2005 - 03:02 PM

Is the original radio broadcast avaliable on DVD and/or CD? If so, how is it?

Also, the BBC mini-series covers the first two books, right (I ask because I was thinking about watching it, but figure I should read the second book before doing so)?

Thanks,

Jason
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#9 of 57 OFFLINE   Bill Thomann

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Posted September 03 2005 - 03:39 PM

Sounds pretty good. I missed it in theaters too but I'll be buying the region 1 blind when it comes out.

#10 of 57 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted September 03 2005 - 09:31 PM

UPDATE: Forgot to say that there is a director's (with the actors playing Arthur and Slartibarfast) and a separate producer's commentary. Heard the first all the way through now and it's excellent with none of the 'darling you were wonderful in this scene' BS that usually plagues these things. Haven't heard much of the second commentary yet (I do have a life!) but it seems good as well.

I do hope that R1 gets the 'Don't Crash' doc - it is the best 'making of' doc I've seen on a contemporary film. Genuinely informative and whilst not particularly self-critical, not an ego massage either.

Am upgrading my opinion of the picture quality, which is better each time I look at it.

#11 of 57 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted September 03 2005 - 11:39 PM

Quote:
Is the original radio broadcast avaliable on DVD and/or CD? If so, how is it?
Yes, it is. And it excellent. Really worth listening to. Very funny, and probably first-equal (with the books) for my favourite version of Hitchhikers.

Quote:
Also, the BBC mini-series covers the first two books, right (I ask because I was thinking about watching it, but figure I should read the second book before doing so)?
Not quite. To explain this, I need to go into the different versions of THHGTTG, and it gets rather complicated, so please forgive me, but...

There were two original series of the radio series. The Primary Phase was six episodes long, while The Secondary Phase features the "Christmas episode" and the five episode-long second series. (They have also recently made new series based on the other three books, but these are irrelevant for this discussion).

When it comes to the books and TV series, Douglas Adams explained it better than I could in the foreword to the omnibus version of the complete book series...

Quote:
In the autumn of 1979, the first Hitch Hiker book was published, called The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It was a substantially expanded version of the first four episodes of the radio series, in which some of the characters behaved in entirely different ways and others behaved in exactly the same ways but for entirely different reasons, which amounts to the same thing but saves rewriting the dialogue.

...

In the autumn of 1980, the second Hitch Hiker book was published... It was a very substantially reworked, re-edited and contracted version of episodes 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 5 and 6 (in that order) of the radio series. In case that seemed too straightforward, the book was called The Restaurant at the End of the Universe , because it included the material from radio episode 5 of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy which was set in a restaurant called Milliways, otherwise known as the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

...

Meanwhile, a series of six television episodes of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy was made by the BBC and broadcast in January 1981. This was based, more or less, on the first six episodes of the radio series. In other words, it incorporated most of the book The Hitch Hker's Guide to the Galaxy and the second half of the book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Therefore, although it followed the basic structure of the radio series, it incorporated revisions from the books, which didn't.
Hope that helps.
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#12 of 57 OFFLINE   Jason Hughes

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Posted September 04 2005 - 02:32 AM

Thanks
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#13 of 57 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted September 11 2005 - 08:04 AM

Does anyone know if there will be a more deluxe version of the movie coming out in the future?

Thanks,

Neil

#14 of 57 OFFLINE   PeterTHX

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Posted September 11 2005 - 08:27 AM

Quote:
Does anyone know if there will be a more deluxe version of the movie coming out in the future?


Didn't exactly set the box office on fire. I'd guess probably not.

#15 of 57 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted September 11 2005 - 08:46 AM

I was thinking that there might have been one planned before the unfortunate box office results. Unfortunately (according to the UK site) there are items that will be on the UK version that won't be on the US version.

Oh, well.

Neil

#16 of 57 OFFLINE   DavidPla

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Posted September 11 2005 - 08:58 AM

The film opened well and made its money back when it was all said and done. If the DVDs sell well, there probably might be a chance for not only a better DVD but "A Restaurant At the End of the Galaxy" film as well, albeit on a smaller budget.

#17 of 57 OFFLINE   David_Blackwell

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Posted September 11 2005 - 10:29 AM

My review
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#18 of 57 OFFLINE   Joe Schwartz

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Posted September 11 2005 - 07:04 PM

Thanks, David. Are any of the trailers available on the DVD? I really enjoyed the "Don't Panic" teaser and the "Guide to Movie Trailers" trailer. (And the "Panic" trailer for Chicken Little would be worth having, too.)

#19 of 57 OFFLINE   Tino

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Posted September 11 2005 - 11:55 PM

Quote:
Didn't exactly set the box office on fire. I'd guess probably not.


Don't be too sure. Films that have made less at the boxoffice have had elaborate deluxe editions come out.

Sometimes boxoffice doesn't factor into these decisions.
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#20 of 57 OFFLINE   Dave Poehlman

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Posted September 13 2005 - 04:32 AM

Quote:
Are any of the trailers available on the DVD?

I just picked it up this morning and I don't see any trailers anywhere... not for Hitchhiker's anyway. There's a ton of upcoming Touchstone film trailers included.
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